When Ridley Scott's Gladiator singularly revived the old Hollywood "Sword & Sandals" genre in 2000, it also propelled composer Hans Zimmer's rousing score onto every movie trailer that followed in its wake, so it's surprising to find the prolific -- but relatively unknown -- Harry Gregson-Williams taking the reins on Scott's similarly themed 12th century Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven. Williams approaches the era with a far more delicate touch than Zimmer, utilizing period and regional instrumentation, as well as lush choral arrangements to accentuate the film's romance and religiosity. While there are plenty of instances where thunderous percussion and sweeping brass paint gallant images of galloping horses and tattered flags, there are more moments that effectively portray the bloody fields and pious ruminations of war.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
|Kingdom of Heaven, film score|